Discovery Channel has slated “The Hurricane That Changed America,” a Hurricane Katrina docudrama from the team behind the cabler’s 9/11 movie event “The Flight That Fought Back.”
Like “Flight,” the Katrina project will be a mix of dramatic reenactments and survivor interviews. “Flight” earned raves for its balanced execution and premiered to a big 7 million viewers last September.
Phil Craig will exec produce.
Discovery GM Jane Root said production crews began filming footage one week after the hurricane hit New Orleans last summer. “We knew immediately that there were amazing testimonies and heroic stories to be told,” she said. “Stories of frustration and despair, but also stories of hope.”
Narrative will begin with several individuals telling their stories starting from the Sunday before the storm hit.
“We’ll be told what it was like waiting for the storm from several perspectives, and go through what happened between then and the Friday after the hurricane hit,” Root said. Special will also feature footage shot from inside the Superdome, where tens of thousands of displaced people were housed after the disaster.
Root said Discovery is eyeing a premiere in late August, around the anniversary of the tragedy.
“‘Hurricane’ is part of Discovery’s big push to tell recent history, history of the last 15-20 years,” she said. “We’ve got a film about the attempted assassination of (president Ronald) Reagan coming up. And I expect a good deal to come from our partnership with Ted Koppel.” Root added that Koppel had gone down to New Orleans and may have some involvement in the movie event.